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Re: [SCA-JML] More questions.

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  • Ron Martino
    ... The topic deserves its own class, but in brief - I use Google, and use as many words as I think apply. If I don t seem to be finding the sort of pages I m
    Message 1 of 15 , May 29, 2003
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      Bill Fornshell wrote:
      >
      > I'll jump on the bandwagon with one also:
      > Can anyone recommend a good way to use the search
      > function of the internet so those that don't seem to
      > understand how, might be able to learn how to do it.
      > And while you are at it you might explain how the
      > "search message archives" works as many questions have
      > been asked once or more in the past. It only takes a
      > "word" to get a list of messages with that "word".
      > The question of what "Kana" is all about got 426,000
      > sites with the word "Kana" and some of the first 20
      > were just what someone was looking for. In fact I
      > found one I had never seen before and it was great.
      > Arigato!
      > Bill

      The topic deserves its own class, but in brief - I use Google, and use
      as many words as I think apply. If I don't seem to be finding the sort
      of pages I'm after in the first few sites, I try synonyms. For example,
      if I wanted to know about guides on kana calligraphy, I might try 'kana'
      and 'calligraphy', and then move to 'kana' and brushstrokes' or 'kana'
      and 'how-to' (or just add the additional words to the existing search).
      Learning to search on-line well is a bit of an art.

      Yumitori
      --

      It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will
      determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate
      discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor
      must preside at our assemblies.
      William O. Douglas

      yumitori(AT)montana(DOT)com
    • Ii Saburou
      ... I m not sure if it was a permission thing or more of a general education thing--I believe that men wrote mostly in kanji because they had to learn
      Message 2 of 15 , May 29, 2003
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        On Thu, 29 May 2003 jennmoaks@... wrote:

        > Speaking of book reccomendations, does anyone know of a good resource on
        > how to write kana script (as opposed to kanji)? From what I've read so
        > far, Japanese women were permitted to write in Japanese (kana) but not
        > Chinese (kanji)--if I'm understanding that correctly. Any resources you
        > know of, and/or explanations of the difference would be helpful.

        I'm not sure if it was a 'permission' thing or more of a general education
        thing--I believe that men wrote mostly in kanji because they had to learn
        Chinese for their work at court, and would use it there. Katakana
        apparently is derived from this more angular script.

        Women, it seems, were writing more of the novels, poetry, etc. (one
        article I saw suggested this was due to the amount of time--men just
        didn't have the time that women did for casual writing, and so most of it
        seems to be commissioned for some official purpose). Things like the
        "Tale of Genji" and Sei Shonagon's "Makura no Soshi" ("Pillow Book") seem
        to imply that the women were only expected to have a passing familiarity
        with Chinese history and poetry--both Murasaki Shikibu and Sei Shonagon
        seem to be remarkably educated, IIRC. Since at least the Man'yoshu, the
        idea for expressing the actual Japanese language with phonetic characters
        (well, Chinese ideograms used more for their pronunciation than meaning)
        seems to have caught on and grown. Hiragana, the "women's" writing style,
        is just abbreviated ideograms.

        Now, the problem is that it isn't quite finalized until later (I'm not
        sure if it was ever standardized before the SCA cutoff in the 17th C), so
        in the Heian period at least we still see different characters being used
        for the same phonetic sound. I believe there are also similar
        'abbreviations' that are used for different phonetic sounds, too.

        I'm not sure of any good books on the subject--especially not in English.
        I would recommend starting with the basic hiragana--that can be found in
        just about any modern Japanese language text. Pay attention to stroke
        order because that will really effect how your kana comes out. If you
        know Japanese, you may be able to find examples in period scrolls to copy.

        Modern Japanese uses kanji (Chinese ideograms), and the two phonetic kana
        sets--katakana and hiragana. Any course in written Japanese should teach
        the katakana and hiragana.

        The only other thing I really have that is useful is a chart of some of
        the kana and the kanji they came from as well as the phonetic sound they
        represent. Unfortunately I have no way of actually sending that on.

        Not sure if any of this is helpful or not.


        -Ii
      • momochitakezo67
        Konban-wa everyone, It s funny that the subjuct has arisen about writing Kanji and Kana. I have in my possesion two different books on the subject of Kana.
        Message 3 of 15 , May 29, 2003
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          Konban-wa everyone,
          It's funny that the subjuct has arisen about writing Kanji and Kana. I
          have in my possesion two different books on the subject of Kana. The first
          is about Hiragana. The other is about Katakana. The former is more flowing
          and rounded in appearance. The later is more angular and sharper looking.
          They are both phonetic in nature. Basically used to spell out specific
          words. Kana is also used hand and hand with Kanji. Kanji on the other hand
          is used to express a thought or idea.
          I will be bringing those two books and a couple of others to Asian
          Night at the end of June.
          Date no Momochi Takezo
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Ii Saburou" <logan@...>
          To: <sca-jml@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Thursday, May 29, 2003 6:33 PM
          Subject: Re: [SCA-JML] More book reccomendations


          > On Thu, 29 May 2003 jennmoaks@... wrote:
          >
          > > Speaking of book reccomendations, does anyone know of a good resource on
          > > how to write kana script (as opposed to kanji)? From what I've read so
          > > far, Japanese women were permitted to write in Japanese (kana) but not
          > > Chinese (kanji)--if I'm understanding that correctly. Any resources you
          > > know of, and/or explanations of the difference would be helpful.
          >
          > I'm not sure if it was a 'permission' thing or more of a general education
          > thing--I believe that men wrote mostly in kanji because they had to learn
          > Chinese for their work at court, and would use it there. Katakana
          > apparently is derived from this more angular script.
          >
          > Women, it seems, were writing more of the novels, poetry, etc. (one
          > article I saw suggested this was due to the amount of time--men just
          > didn't have the time that women did for casual writing, and so most of it
          > seems to be commissioned for some official purpose). Things like the
          > "Tale of Genji" and Sei Shonagon's "Makura no Soshi" ("Pillow Book") seem
          > to imply that the women were only expected to have a passing familiarity
          > with Chinese history and poetry--both Murasaki Shikibu and Sei Shonagon
          > seem to be remarkably educated, IIRC. Since at least the Man'yoshu, the
          > idea for expressing the actual Japanese language with phonetic characters
          > (well, Chinese ideograms used more for their pronunciation than meaning)
          > seems to have caught on and grown. Hiragana, the "women's" writing style,
          > is just abbreviated ideograms.
          >
          > Now, the problem is that it isn't quite finalized until later (I'm not
          > sure if it was ever standardized before the SCA cutoff in the 17th C), so
          > in the Heian period at least we still see different characters being used
          > for the same phonetic sound. I believe there are also similar
          > 'abbreviations' that are used for different phonetic sounds, too.
          >
          > I'm not sure of any good books on the subject--especially not in English.
          > I would recommend starting with the basic hiragana--that can be found in
          > just about any modern Japanese language text. Pay attention to stroke
          > order because that will really effect how your kana comes out. If you
          > know Japanese, you may be able to find examples in period scrolls to copy.
          >
          > Modern Japanese uses kanji (Chinese ideograms), and the two phonetic kana
          > sets--katakana and hiragana. Any course in written Japanese should teach
          > the katakana and hiragana.
          >
          > The only other thing I really have that is useful is a chart of some of
          > the kana and the kanji they came from as well as the phonetic sound they
          > represent. Unfortunately I have no way of actually sending that on.
          >
          > Not sure if any of this is helpful or not.
          >
          >
          > -Ii
          >
          >
          >
          > UNSUBSCRIBE: E-mail sca-jml-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >
          >
        • Solveig
          Ii Dono! Greetings from Solveig! ... It s pretty clear that men were writing poetry and that writing poetry was an important part of political life in Heian
          Message 4 of 15 , May 29, 2003
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            Ii Dono!

            Greetings from Solveig!

            >Women, it seems, were writing more of the novels, poetry, etc. (one
            >article I saw suggested this was due to the amount of time--men just
            >didn't have the time that women did for casual writing, and so most of it
            >seems to be commissioned for some official purpose). Things like the
            >"Tale of Genji" and Sei Shonagon's "Makura no Soshi" ("Pillow Book") seem
            >to imply that the women were only expected to have a passing familiarity
            >with Chinese history and poetry--both Murasaki Shikibu and Sei Shonagon
            >seem to be remarkably educated, IIRC. Since at least the Man'yoshu, the
            >idea for expressing the actual Japanese language with phonetic characters
            >(well, Chinese ideograms used more for their pronunciation than meaning)
            >seems to have caught on and grown. Hiragana, the "women's" writing style,
            >is just abbreviated ideograms.

            It's pretty clear that men were writing poetry and that writing poetry was
            an important part of political life in Heian Japan. One primary difference
            was the greater emphasis of classical Chinese in men's literature and a
            greater emphasis on Japanese in women's literature. Men were writing
            Chinese poems and niki. When Ki no Tsurayuki wanted to write a monogatari
            he wrote it pseudonyminously as a woman.

            >Now, the problem is that it isn't quite finalized until later (I'm not
            >sure if it was ever standardized before the SCA cutoff in the 17th C), so
            >in the Heian period at least we still see different characters being used
            >for the same phonetic sound. I believe there are also similar
            >'abbreviations' that are used for different phonetic sounds, too.

            Where are you getting this? I recall substitute letters (kana) being ossified
            pretty early. Yes, in the Manyoshu you do see more than one letter used for
            the same sound. But, the Manyoshu is a long time ago. More problematic is
            phonetic change in Japanese. While some people claim that there has not been
            any phonetic change in Japanese since the eighth century, I seriously doubt
            this theory and am more inclined to believe in phonetic drift.
            --

            Your Humble Servant
            Solveig Throndardottir
            Amateur Scholar

            +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
            | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS |
            | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
            | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:bnostran@... |
            +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
            | Note. Many popular "free" email services are automatically routed to |
            | the trash by my email filters. |
            +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
          • Solveig
            Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! What is Asian Night ?? -- Your Humble Servant Solveig Throndardottir Amateur Scholar
            Message 5 of 15 , May 29, 2003
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              Noble Cousin!

              Greetings from Solveig! What is "Asian Night" ??
              --

              Your Humble Servant
              Solveig Throndardottir
              Amateur Scholar

              +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
              | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS |
              | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
              | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:bnostran@... |
              +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
              | Note. Many popular "free" email services are automatically routed to |
              | the trash by my email filters. |
              +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
            • Ii Saburou
              ... I did not mean to suggest that men did not write poetry--such would be absurd. However, the attention given to classical Chinese (equated by one of my
              Message 6 of 15 , May 29, 2003
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                On Thu, 29 May 2003, Solveig wrote:

                > It's pretty clear that men were writing poetry and that writing poetry was
                > an important part of political life in Heian Japan. One primary difference
                > was the greater emphasis of classical Chinese in men's literature and a
                > greater emphasis on Japanese in women's literature. Men were writing
                > Chinese poems and niki. When Ki no Tsurayuki wanted to write a monogatari
                > he wrote it pseudonyminously as a woman.

                I did not mean to suggest that men did not write poetry--such would be
                absurd. However, the attention given to classical Chinese (equated by one
                of my professors as being similar to how Europeans used Latin--up into the
                19th century in some cases--to show education) seems to have influenced
                their writings, as I recall.

                Didn't Ki no Tsurayuki also write his monogatari in hiragana to emulate a
                woman's hand, as well? And I thought that one of the important things
                about that was that a man wrote a tale like he did, besides just the fact
                that he emulated a woman's hand. I was led to believe that most of the
                romances and 'leisure' reading was done by the women and it was more
                texts, histories, and the like that were done by the men. Even today if
                you want your writings to seem more 'scholarly' people seem to gravitate
                towards words using kanji compounds read in 'on-yomi*' rather than
                'kun-yomi*'.

                I thought I had also stated that I wasn't sure if it had been ossified in
                period or not. I would love some hard documentation of the ossification
                if there is some--I really only know what little I have about the alphabet
                back in the Heian period.

                A quick look in "Twelve Centuries of Japanese Art from the Imperial
                Collections" (ISBN 1-56098-893-2) shows that at least a few of the
                alternative kana are around by the end of the 16th century. I would have
                to really get better at reading calligraphy and do an in depth survey to
                say for sure what kind of frequency each kana is found at.

                I'll try to find the sheet, eventually, and I'll be happy to share it once
                it comes to light again (I'm afraid it is hidden away at the moment,
                though I have an inkling of where it is).

                > >Now, the problem is that it isn't quite finalized until later (I'm not
                > >sure if it was ever standardized before the SCA cutoff in the 17th C), so
                > >in the Heian period at least we still see different characters being used
                > >for the same phonetic sound. I believe there are also similar
                > >'abbreviations' that are used for different phonetic sounds, too.
                >
                > Where are you getting this? I recall substitute letters (kana) being ossified
                > pretty early. Yes, in the Manyoshu you do see more than one letter used for
                > the same sound. But, the Manyoshu is a long time ago. More problematic is
                > phonetic change in Japanese. While some people claim that there has not been
                > any phonetic change in Japanese since the eighth century, I seriously doubt
                > this theory and am more inclined to believe in phonetic drift.

                While studying at NGU (Nagoya Gakuin Daigaku, Seto-shi, Aichi-ken, Japan)
                we had a brief course on the linguistics and history of the Japanese
                language and one thing that was discussed was the evolution of kana
                characters. One of the handouts that I still have was an 'alphabet' of
                various characters that, at least as I was told, became commonly used as
                phonetic characters. However, it did not have just one character per
                sound, but often two or three, or at least different ways of writing the
                kana character even if it came from the same kanji. Accompnaying it were
                a few examples of script.

                Okay, it is 1 am and I need to be up by 5:30 AM, so I really need to stop
                here.

                O-yasumi nasai**, everyone!

                -Ii

                *On-yomi is the reading of a kanji for its 'sound'--supposedly the
                'Chinese reading' (sometimes it sounds close to modern Chinese, but if
                you read Chinese script in on-yomi I doubt any Chinese speaker would
                understand you. Then again, even in China you have mutually
                unintelligible dialects, so does it matter?).
                *Kun-yomi is also termed the 'Japanese reading' and is often the sound of
                the purely Japanese word that goes with the kanji character.

                **Equivalent of 'good night' (lit. 'Do a rest' in the honorific
                imperative, if I'm remembering the English definitions at 1 AM).
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